What’s Good?! With a little bit more than half of the year passing us by, there is still a lot of hyped music to come in the second part of the year. In the first 6 months, we got a albums from Big K.R.I.T, Childish Gambino, Frank Ocean, Curren$y, Nas among others. However, the biggest albums of the year have yet to be released and have been generating a good amount of buzz heading into the second half of 2012. With albums coming from Kendrick Lamar, G.O.O.D Music and Rick Ross, to name a few, the second half of 2012 is shaping up to be a a fall and winter that will be full of hard beats and dope rhymes. Let’s get to it!
Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city (Release Date: October 2, 2012)
Last year, Kendrick dropped Section 80 on us, and even in the first play through, many believed that the album was already something special. Fast forward to this year and many people consider Section 80 to be a hip hop classic in some circles (including mine). With himself and the rest of the TDE crew getting signed by Shady, Kendrick is on his way to getting on another level of recognition. With The Recipe (feat. Dr. Dre) as his first single for his debut album, it’s not a mistake to expect something special with this album. Last year around this time, Kendrick was handed the torch to lead the Westcoast and he definitely has not disappointed all of us so far. With a couple months left until release, watch Kendrick’s hype grow into something colossal.
G.O.O.D Music – Cruel Summer (Release Date: September 4, 2012)
Swerve. With tracks like Mercy and New God Flow already gracing our ears, Cruel Summer is shaping up to be the one of the biggest, if not the biggest release of 2012. As always, Kanye is leading the G.O.O.D music crew into there first collaborative album with more hype than the IPhone 5. Every time a track from this album gets released, the social media world gets blown up with people talking about how much they either like or hate it. The album release isn’t that far away, so expect to hear another track drop pretty soon. If you aren’t going to check this album already, you probably aren’t a G.O.O.D music fan anyway. *Insert Ric Flair “Woo!”*
Wiz Khalifa – O.N.I.F.C (Release Date: August 28, 2012)
Last year, Wiz dropped Rolling Papers as his debut studio album with cuts like Black & Yellow and Roll Up as his singles. Despite a strong mainstream reception, older fans of Wiz weren’t feeling the album and felt that he moved to far away from what they liked about him. Wiz even noticed the reception he was receiving from his older fans and wrote a letter apologizing for the album’s direction and promised to come back to what people loved. Judging from his track Work Hard, Play Hard, Wiz seems to be holding up to his promise, although he isn’t completely there yet. I doubt Wiz can ever go back to his Kush and OJ days, but with this next project, you can’t fault him for at least trying.
A$AP Rocky – LongLiveA$AP (Release Date: September 11th, 2012)
Although A$AP has been riding a lot of hype since his LiveLoveA$AP from last year, he hasn’t exactly hit that level of notoriety that people think he should. With the release of his debut studio album, LongLiveA$AP, he looks to change that drastically and put his name on the map as a strong contender. With his single Goldie (Prod. Hit Boy) already released, the future looks promising for this kid from Harlem. A$AP presents a style that many Harlem rapper don’t normally present, but with flows that could back up the feel of a Harlem dude. If it is somewhere along the lines of LiveLoveA$AP, I see some go things coming our way from A$AP pretty soon, especially if the sexy Iggy Azalea is riding along too.
2 Chainz – Based On A T.R.U. Story (Release Date: August 14th, 2012)
Tity Boi has come a long way since his Playaz Circle days and has slowly built up his hype in a number of features on tracks with Kanye, Drake, Wale and others. No Lie (feat. Drake) and Birthday Song (feat. Kanye West) have come out in the past few months to give us a taste of what’s to come, and the two tracks do not disappoint. While 2 Chainz lyricism isn’t the most inventive and clever, what the dude does not lack is the enthusiasm that he brings to tracks. If people aren’t saying it already, “2 CHAINNNNNZZZZ!!” is something that people are going to be repeating over and over again later this year.
Rick Ross – God Forgives, I Don’t (Release Date: July 31st, 2012)
MMG is a busy camp nowadays, but that still doesn’t keep Rozay from working on his own projects. Ross was planning on having this album out last year, but then changed his mind and decided to move the release date to November of this year. After getting back on track for an earlier release, Ross finally pushed his album release date up to July 31st. With features Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Dj Khaled, Usher, and his MMG teammates, God Forgives, I Don’t is shaping up to be a project that might surprise people. If grunting and trap music is your shit, then best believe that Ross is going to bring something to the table in this next week.
Meek Mill – Dreams and Nightmares (Release Date: August 28th, 2012)
As another piece to the MMG conglomerate, Meek Mill has been on his grind trying to piece together his debut album. Most recently, Meek dropped Dreamchasers 2, which received a largely positive response from hip hop fans across the board. No doubt his tracks Amen (feat. Drake), Burn (feat. Big Sean), and A1 Everything (feat. Kendrick Lamar), were all bangers, so I’m looking forward to what Meek is bringing to the table with his debut album. One thing I won’t be looking forward to is how much the dude yells on his tracks, but he makes up for it in his rhymes and grittiness. While a lot of the attention is towards the MMG camp, expect to see Meek take advantage and make a bigger name for himself this year.
T.I. – Trouble Man (Release Date: September 4th, 2012)
Ever since T.I. first went into jail on his gun charges, he hasn’t been able to get a steady footing in the game and produce a solid piece of work. However, it looks like he’s out of the rough and back on his shit once again. With his track I’m Flexin’ (feat. Big K.R.I.T) currently out, T.I’s style has definitely not changed, and that isn’t a bad thing at all. Tip continues to bring that raw, southern style that has defined him throughout his entire career. With a quicker tongue, T.I. is back to take his throne as King of the South once again.
Jay Electronica – Act II: The Patents of Nobility (TBA)
Out of all the albums set to come out this year, this is one that has had a low key hype. At one point, I thought Jay Electronica was going to come back from his pilgrimage and abandon the whole rapping thing altogether. However, if you’ve been living under a rock, Jay Elec is back with Act II and according to Hov, it is one of the best albums that he has heard in a long time. If that co-sign doesn’t hold any weight in your world, that still doesn’t mean you shouldn’t peep Jay Electronica’s debut album. His beats are smooth as fuck, and his rhymes are just as nice. It’s been a while, but Jay Elec is back to show the game what got him his hype in the first place so don’t sleep on Act II
Lupe Fiasco – Food & Liquor 2 (September 25th, 2012)
Maybe it’s just me, but L.A.S.E.R.S was nothing short of a disappointment for me. Instead of sticking to what people liked most about Food & Liquor and The Cool, Lupe abandoned the style people liked and tried to push his own political agenda. Conscious rapping is cool but there’s a point when it becomes to forced. With Food & Liquor 2, set to come out, I thought about it and decided that I might just give it a chance. Lupe already showed what to look forward to in his track Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free), borrowing the beat from TROY by Pete Rock and CL Smooth, he delivers some nice shit. Lupe stated that this album will delivered in two parts. Part one will be delivered this year while Part two is still TBA. While Pete Rock isn’t exactly a fan of Lupe’s latest endeavors, he definitely deserves some attention like he did pre-L.A.S.E.R.S.
Watch The Throne 2?
Although the album isn’t projected to be out until next year, the chance of it coming out this year is still a possibility. Classic or not, WTT definitely had some kind of impact with it’s release last year. With Kanye and Jay helming an album together once again, who isn’t going to listen to what they have to offer the second time around. With WTT being a huge success through digital and physical copies, and a huge tour, best believe this second coming is going to be HUGE once again. Whenever this album does come out, expect the hype to be much larger than last time.